AP ENGLISH LANGUAGE AND COMPOSITION The Exam
- Wed, May 16, 2018
AP English Language and Composition Exam Day 2018
- 8 a. m. | 3 hrs 15 mins
The AP English Language and Composition Exam includes multiple-choice and free-response questions that test essential skills covered in the course curriculum:
- reading comprehension of rhetorically and topically diverse texts
- rhetorical analysis of individual texts in isolation
- synthesis of information from multiple texts
- written argumentation
Encourage your students to visit the AP English Language and Composition student page for exam information and exam practice.
Multiple Choice — 52 to 55 Questions | 1 Hour | 45% of Exam Score
- Excerpts from non-fiction texts are accompanied by several multiple-choice questions
Free Response — 3 Free-Response Questions | 2 Hours, 15 Minutes (includes a 15-minute reading period) | 55% of Exam Score
This section has three prompts:
- Synthesis: Students read several texts about a topic and create an argument that synthesizes at least three of the sources to support their thesis.
- Rhetorical analysis: Students read a non-fiction text and analyze how the writer’s language choices contribute to his or her purpose and intended meaning for the text.
- Argument: Students create an evidence-based argument that responds to a given topic.
The total Section II time is 2 hours and 15 minutes. This includes a 15-minute reading period. The reading period is designed to provide students with time to develop thoughtful, well-organized responses. They may begin writing their responses before the reading period is over.
Synthesis Essay Materials
The two synthesis essay questions below are examples of the question type that has been one of the three free-response questions on the AP English Language and Composition Exam as of the May 2007 exam. The synthesis question asks students to synthesize information from a variety of sources to inform their own discussion of a topic. Students are given a 15-minute reading period to accommodate the additional reading required for the question.
Below is a sample synthesis essay question, sample scoring guidelines, comments from the Chief Reader about the sample student essays, seven sample student responses, and scoring commentary for each sample.
Approximately 300 AP English Language and Composition students from eight schools in New York, Maine, Texas, Tennessee, Washington, Florida, and New Mexico wrote responses to this synthesis topic. Students from these schools were given a 15-minute reading period followed by a 40-minute writing period in which to complete the sample synthesis assignment.
An additional sample synthesis essay question is provided here.
APAS English Block 2
«I write to discover what I think.» – Daniel J. Boorstin
AP English Language and Composition Practice Exams & Study Aides
Here are some sample essays from previous AP tests, with student writing, rubrics, and grading rationales. More to come.
The best way to use this resource: Practice writing at least one of each of the different types of essays below. Do as many practice essays as you can, and time yourself using the time limits listed on the prompts.
Step 1) Practice the essay just as you would in the exam, without looking at the sample essays or scoring guidelines.
Step 2) When you’ve finished your essay, read the scoring guidelines, and read the sample essays. Try to score the sample essays yourself.
Step 3) Now read the scoring rationales. Compare the AP readers’ scores with the scores you assigned the essays.
Step 4) Comparing your essay to the sample essays, decide what score your essay would have recieved. Look for ways to improve for next time.
Try to practice as much as you can. However, if you absolutely cannot do one practice essay, at least look through the samples to gain some familiarity with the prompts and expectations.
Glossary of Rhetorical Terms – An excellent resource for reviewing most of the terms you’ll need to know for the English test.